Unlock Premium Data: Up to 50% Off InvestingProCLAIM SALE

Judge orders Massachusetts to redo parts of vaping ban

Published 10/21/2019, 12:17 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man uses a vape device in this illustration picture

By Nate Raymond

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Massachusetts judge on Monday ruled that a four-month ban on the sale of vaping products the state adopted in response to an outbreak of lung illnesses linked to e-cigarette use was likely unlawful, but he gave the state time to fix its defects.

Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins in Boston said he would bar the state from enforcing the ban on nicotine-vaping product sales unless Governor Charlie Baker's administration by next week put forward a new rule codifying it.

But Wilkins said because Baker's administration could easily re-enact his Sept. 24 emergency order imposing the ban through a regulation that the public could comment on, he did not believe it was appropriate to rule more broadly.

The ruling was a mixed result for Baker and the industry trade group Vapor Technology Association, which challenged the ban in court, saying it posed an "existential threat" to the state's $331 million nicotine vaping products sector.

That ban covered the sales of e-cigarettes and vaping supplies, both those used for nicotine and THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, which is legal in the state.

Wilkins said nothing in his ruling would affect the ban's application to products containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, which is legal in the state, or black market products.

The VTA and Baker's office did not respond to requests for comment.

In its lawsuit, Washington-based VTA argued that Baker's emergency order marked an unconstitutional overreach by the governor by imposing a law that the state's legislature never approved.

It also argued the order was arbitrary, by claiming to target youth vaping and the outbreak by banning all sales to anyone in the state regardless of age even when evidence suggested black market products were behind the lung injuries.

At least 1,479 e-cigarette-linked lung injury cases have been reported to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It says most cases have been linked to products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street.

Several other states, including Michigan, New York, Washington, Oregon and Rhode Island, have moved since September to restrict sales of flavored e-cigarettes on the grounds that they pose a health risk to teenagers.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man uses a vape device in this illustration picture

Courts in New York, Oregon and Michigan have since put those state's bans on hold following lawsuits by the vaping industry. A federal judge in Boston previously declined to block Massachusetts' prohibition, which was much broader.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.